At the AIIM show this week, I talked to a number of consultants and others who told tales of an uptick, recently, in .NET-based CMS business. One potential buyer wanted to know who the top .NET players in ECM are. There seemed to be a lot of interest, generally, in .NET-based content management. I can confirm that one software vendor whose .NET CMS has been around for years has been experiencing strong business in the recession.
It occurred to me that the much-talked-about (but slow to happen) acquisition of Sun by IBM, combined with the increasing entropy level around Java 7, may be giving IT decisionmakers a bit of stomach acid right now. Smaller shops with a significant existing investment in Microsoft infrastructure seem to see this as a good time to stop "thinking in Java." One consultant told me that a recent customer went with a .NET system based on the ability to get a usable delpoyment up and running quickly. The unspoken sentiment seemed to be "Who has time for Java EE?"
Bottom line: Acquisitions are disruptive. They put fence-sitters back on the fence, and they may others jump in unexpected directions. With Java, you also have uncertainty around the next edition. (Will there be a Java 7 any time soon? Doubtful.) These are not good things if you're Sun. But it's not a bad environment for Microsoft. Not bad at all.